Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1991


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XII December 3, 4 & 5, 1991, Fort Collins, Colorado.


Effective management involves the decision-making process whereby success can be achieved. Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile goals.

A realistic management goal for profit-oriented cow-calf producers is as follows:

Manage the available resource (optimum combination) for maximum continuing net profit while conserving and improving the resources.

Cow-calf operations have several resource areas that must be profitably managed. These resources are land (forage), cattle, markets, equipment, human (hired labor, management and family) and possibly others. Biological and economical relationships within and between these resource areas that affect productivity and profitability must be understood and managed.

Without question, the human resource is the most important resource. It is human beings that understand resource relationships, establish goals, make decisions, and provide the labor that implements the written management plan.

Integrated resource management (IRM) is the buzz word of successful cow-calf management today. However, successful managers of past decades used the IRM concepts long before the name was conceived.